The show starts with the Quarterfinal Meeting. Dana White is making BJ Penn and Jens Pulver sit in a room together, He wants them to help him figure out the best quarterfinal fights. White wants the best fights, regardless of teams. The looks of the faces of Penn and Pulver, as they had to sit within the same proximity, were priceless. Both guys looked like they had eaten some bad shellfish.
Dana White says the four fighters who deserve to be in the semifinals are Nate Diaz, Joe Lauzon, Matt Wiman and Gray Maynard. BJ Penn agrees. Jens Pulver does not agree. Pulver feels Manny Gamburyan should be part of the top four. White, Penn and Pulver write down what they feel will be the four best fights. Pulver points out that Penn and White have the same lists. White laughs. Pulver is pissed. Penn laughs. Penn sucks up to the boss saying White is a "smart man." Pulver shakes his head in disagreement. White asks Pulver if he thinks it's some kind of conspiracy against him. White is getting frustrated that they cannot come to a consensus. To the cameras, White says he feared a fight was going to break out between Penn and Pulver. Penn says he's going to knock out Pulver on June 23. Pulver likes to hear this, and sarcastically begs Penn to stand up with him in their fight.
Lord White has made his decision. The semifinal fights will be...
1 - Joe Lauzon (Team Penn) vs. Cole Miller (Team Pulver)
2 - Gray Maynard (Team Penn) vs. Brandon Melendez (Team Pulver)
3 - Nate Diaz (Team Pulver) vs. Corey Hill (Team Pulver)
4 - Manny Gamburyan (Team Pulver) vs. Matt Wiman (Team Penn)
Jens Pulver is not happy with Nate Diaz and Corey Hill having to fight. Pulver says Diaz had asked for Joe Lauzon. Diaz says he knew they were going to pit him against Hill. Diaz says nobody on Team Penn wanted to fight him or Hill. Meanwhile, in the Team Penn van on the way home, happier music is playing, literally, as the three fighters talk about how much they like their match-ups.
Back at the Ultimate Fighter house at night, several fighters are celebrating with some alcohol. Marlon Sims, in particular, is getting over his loss to Matt Wiman by hitting the bottle, at which he's having much more success than the one punch he got in on Wiman before being choked to sleep.
Outside, around the fire, Nate Diaz eggs Marlon Sims to rib on Noah Thomas. Sims had said he wanted to fight Thomas at the finale, and that he had already asked for the match. Thomas says he would like to fight Sims, too. Sims says only he and Wayne Weems didn’t tap in their matches, insinuating there was some dishonor in Allen Berube and Noah Thomas submitting in their preliminary fights. Sims says, “I think you are a chump [for submitting], because you’re not going to die [from the hold].” Thomas says Sims will find out how strong he is when they have their finale fight. Thomas says Sims only lasted 50 seconds in his fight with Matt Wiman, and his stories are all bullshit. Sims pauses, and then lunges up and dumps Thomas off his chair. Everybody oohs and aahs. Thomas takes off his jacket. Sims clears out the furniture. Things are about to go all backyard fight club. Berube steps in to play referee. Somebody can be heard saying, “This is awesome.”
We return to the Ultimate Fighter House and our first TUF streetfight.
0 - Marlon Sims vs. Noah Thomas (Unsanctioned Backyard Brawl)
Noah Thomas has assumed a fighter’s stance. Marlon Sims is standing with his chin turned away from Thomas. Sims asks Thomas to hit him. Several people are encouraging Thomas to hit him. Allen Berube continues to play referee and is trying to persuade them to fight. Sims points at his chin and again asks Thomas to hit him. So, Thomas does what practically everybody else in the house wants to do, and punches Sims in the face. And then it was on.
Round One: Thomas rushes in and takes Sims to the ground, literally, onto the grass. Several people are commenting on how Thomas’s punch was a “cheap shot.” In all fairness, Sims was asking for it. The two have stood back up and are grappling. Sims gets Thomas into a bearhug. Thomas jumps up onto Sims, pulling guard and trying for a guillotine. Sims turns Thomas towards the rock garden, and slams him down hard onto the cement. Thomas continues to work for an armbar. Thomas has him caught, so Sims punches him in the face several times. Things have gotten WAY out of hand now. People are gasping, but no one is stepping in. Thomas has an armbar sunk in deep. Someone says they ought to break the fight up. Allen Berube says no. Gray Maynard is shaking his head in astonishment. Sims asks to be let out of the hold. Berube says he has to submit first. Thomas lets up a bit, and Sims manages to step out of the hold. Sims backs up and says he doesn’t want to get kicked out of the house.
Round Two: Thomas will have none of the peace accord and delivers a cheap high kick (!) to head of Sims. It’s not that often you’re going to see a high kick used as a cheap shot. Sims throws his arms up in frustration. Thomas starts to walk away. Sims walks up near him. Thomas offers up a handshake, saying they’ll settle it at the finale. Sims says Thomas cheap-shotted him twice, so he shouldn’t be trying to shake his hand. This time, Sims throws the cheap shot, and punches Thomas in the face several times. Thomas falls backwards onto the cement, and Sims throws a kick. Sims tries to kick him again, but Thomas grabs his leg. Back on their feet, Thomas delivers a kick to Sims. Thomas goes back to the ground, with Sims in his guard. Thomas has a guillotine on Sims. Sims is caught for awhile, but pops his head out. Thomas grabs another armbar on Sims, but Sims picks him off the ground, and spikes him headfirst down onto the concrete, twice. Thomas screams for him to get off.
Finish: Marlon Sims wins by brutality (i.e. Thomas's head being slammed into concrete)
Ramifications: Sure to be severe.
To the cameras, Marlon Sims says if Noah Thomas was going to pull guard and go for an armbar, he was entitled to slam him on his head. He also says he drank half of a bottle of tequila, and that he usually doesn’t drink that often. Thomas has a bloody head. Thomas says it’s just a “scratch.” Several people are clapping, saying it was a good streetfight. Thomas and Sims shake hands saying they’ll next meet at the finale. Cole Miller says it was “the most technical streetfight I’ve ever seen in my life.” Gray Maynard called it “the funniest fight ever, hands down.” Nate Diaz says things have gone Lord of the Flies. Brian Geraghty says he’s never seen anyone other than Jean-Claude Van Damme throw a high kick as a cheap shot. Sims says he dominated the fight. Andy Wang tells Thomas that even if he gets kicked out of the house, he was right to defend his honor. Thomas tells Sims they may be kicked off the show. Sims says, “Why? You punched me first. I made sure of it.”
At the Ultimate Fighter House the next day, Allen Berube and some others are about to cook some lobsters. The feast will have to wait, though, because Dana White walks through the front door. Several uh-ohs can be heard. White says everyone needs to gather in the living room. This is looking like the meeting where Jeremy Jackson was booted in season four. White says, “I just watched the tape of what happened here last night, and I'm f---ing disgusted.”
We’re back to the scolding. Dana White says The Ultimate Fighter was designed to show people that MMA fighters weren’t barbarians. He says the backyard brawl was opposite of the image they wanted to portray with the show. White says not only did Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas fight, but everyone else encouraged it. White says they should all be embarrassed. White says they all acted like they were in high school. DANA WHITE KICKS NOAH THOMAS, MARLON SIMS AND ALLEN BERUBE OFF THE SHOW. They get a “Pack your s--- boys” and the hammer has certainly come down. But who’s going to cook the lobstah now that the Monstah is gone? Everyone is regretful.
We go to the Training Session for Team Pulver. Cole Miller is focused on winning his fight with Joe Lauzon. Miller says he’s been working on his boxing. Jens Pulver warns Miller that beating Lauzon is not going to be easy.
We go to the Training Session for Team Penn. BJ Penn compliments Joe Lauzon. He says Lauzon listens well, and has one of the best ground and pound games in MMA. Lauzon feels he has a favorable match-up with Cole Miller. Lauzon says he isn’t the toughest fighter, but he might be the smartest.
Dana White says both Cole Miller and Joe Lauzon are good on the ground, but that he’d give the advantage to Miller. White says Lauzon has the advantage in the stand-up. White says Lauzon is a “f---ing animal.” Lauzon and Miller are friends. During the staredown, Miller began flaring his nostrils, so Lauzon began wiggling his ears. This has to be the most excited I’ve ever been for a fight between two guys this geeky-looking. Mind you, these geeks can tear the average man apart limb by limb, but that doesn’t change appearances. They look like they should be battling each other at Warcraft and not in the octagon. Lauzon says they’ll beat each other up, but they’ll still be friends.
It’s Fight Day. Both fighters are confident. Miller acknowledges that he’s the underdog, but says people will be surprised. Lauzon says the fight will be over quickly, similar to his fight with Brian Geraghty.
This is the first TUF 5 semifinal bout.
Tale of the Tape
Cole Miller (22 / 6’1” / 74.5” reach / 11-2 record)
Joe Lauzon (22 / 5’10” / 70” reach / 13-3 record)
1 - COLE MILLER vs. JOE LAUZON
ROUND ONE: Glove touch and we’re underway. Joe Lauzon shoots in, but Cole Miller greets him with a kick that sends Lauzon to the ground. Miller grabs Lauzon’s back and falls to the ground looking for a rear naked choke. Miller has one hook set in. Both hooks are in, and the choke is tight. Lauzon manages to squirm out and flip to his back. The two grapple, until Lauzon goes for a leglock. Miller turns out of the hold and stands up. Miller kicks Lauzon’s leg. Lauzon again goes for a leglock, and Miller again escapes. Miller tries for a triangle choke on Lauzon. Lauzon is now standing, throwing punches down at Miller. Lauzon drops down into Miller’s guard. BJ Penn warns Lauzon to watch out for the triangle. Lauzon is pounding away on the ground. Miller continues to aggressively work for a submission. Lauzon is avoiding well. Lauzon stands up, and Miller swats at him with kicks from the ground. Miller turns over to the turtle position. Lauzon punches away at Miller and elbows him in the side. Lauzon hits Miller with a big elbow. Lauzon finishes out the round in dominating fashion. Miller started out great, but once Lauzon turned the tables, he controlled most of the round, so advantage Lauzon.
ROUND TWO: Another glove touch and we’re back underway. The fighters are looking to strike. Miller jabs at Lauzon. Both fighters throw kicks and end up on the mat. Lauzon is on top. Miller accidentally kicks Lauzon to the head, and then apologizes. Miller goes for a triangle, but Lauzon escapes. Miller continues to go for submission after submission. Lauzon works his way into half guard. Lauzon stands back up and throws down a punch. Lauzon gets side control, and goes for a heel hook. Lauzon punches Miller to the back of his head and is warned by the ref. Lauzon then elbows Miller to the back of his head. The ref calls time. Miller grabs the back of his head and is clearly dazed. Lauzon is penalized one point for striking to the back of the head. Miller is working to regain his composure. The doctor examines him. The doctor asks if Miller wants to continue. Miller says he can continue. Action resumes. The fighters exchange strikes and kicks. Lauzon lands a combo and Miller retreats, almost running over the ref in the process. Lauzon takes Miller down to the ground. Lauzon has side control. Lauzon is again warned for strikes to the back of the head, twice. Miller is in the turtle position. Miller isn’t doing anything but covering up. It’s hard to tell if Miller is playing opossum here for a submission, or if he’s just completely out of it. Lauzon continues to punch away at Miller and elbows him to the side. Lauzon keeps punching the side of Miller’s head. The ref tells Miller he needs to do something. BJ Penn yells for Lauzon to make the ref stop the fight. He does and it’s over. Miller remains lying on the mat. Lauzon apologies for the illegal elbow.
FINISH: Joe Lauzon won by TKO at 3:58 of Round 2.
STAR RATING: (***) Good fight with a back-and-forth, really busy, first round. The second round featured some awkward stand-up, more exciting groundwork, and then the pivotal illegal elbow. Miller, by all rights and means, could have asked for the fight to be stopped and won by disqualification. Instead, he chose to not lose face and continue. This was clearly a mistake, because he wasn’t the same afterwards. Lauzon picked him apart, and Miller was so out of it, the ref had no choice but to call the action. Fun fight between two lanky athletes. Before the brutal elbow to the back of his head, Miller was going for nonstop submissions the whole fight. Really nuanced first round, with Lauzon meticulously delivering strikes while walking a tightrope, trying not to get caught in a triangle or armbar submission. Miller kept working his long legs the whole fight trying to capture Lauzon. There were several times it appeared Lauzon might be caught, but he always managed to avoid being finished. Solid, entertaining fight.
RAMIFICATIONS: Joe Lauzon becomes the first fighter to make it to the TUF 5 Semifinals. Lauzon expressed disappointment with how he won. With anyone else, you’d have to question whether it was intentional or not, but with Lauzon, he’s just such a nice guy, that you have to chalk it up to inexperience and a killer instinct. Cole Miller will definitely be back and should have a bright future in the UFC. Hopefully someday down the road, he’ll get a rematch with Lauzon to settle the score.
Afterwards, Cole Miller said he didn’t come on TUF 5 to win by DQ. Miller says he’s never heard of Joe Lauzon being a dirty fighter, so he believes it was just the wild side of Lauzon that caused him to deliver the illegal strike. Lauzon apologizes more. Dana White tells Miller he should not have continued the fight if he was hurt. Miller says he’ll be back.
Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!
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